Opening of the trout season wrap up.
The weekend saw the opening of the brown trout season for 2017-2018, with thousands of anglers out trying to tempt a trout. Despite some rain and wind in the north, there were some outstanding catches to report. Going on the fishing seen on the opening weekend of the season, it looks like this trout season is going to be one to remember! Inland Fisheries Officers patrolled waters around the state. In all 561 anglers and 53 boats were inspected with catches of 556 brown trout, 278 Rainbow trout and 1 Atlantic Salmon reported.
At the popular waters a large percentage of the fish caught were either recently stocked rainbows or wild browns transferred from the highlands over the winter. Some of the brown trout were recovering from spawning so were not in prime condition. Anglers should remember that there are only a limited number of fish available to be stocked and if they are all taken early in the season the fishing will get tougher. Some of these waters have the potential to grow trophy trout but from the catch rate seen none will get through to reach these proportions. So as much as it is nice to take a trout home for dinner please consider releasing any you do not need.
If you are wondering where to go for your next trip why not try somewhere a bit different. Reports were that Lake Mackintosh fished well and Lake Burbury is always worth a look. Talbots Lagoon, with its improved access, will produce some good fish. The lakes in the Derwent system, Meadowbank, Cluny, Repulse and Catagunya are always worth a look. Lake Echo is a good lake to try as the level is beginning to rise and this should encourage fish to come in close. A wrap up of waters checked over the weekend are as follows:
Tooms Lake – Anglers at Tooms Lake also enjoyed some outstanding fishing. Up to 50 boats were on the lake with a lot of camps dotted around the shoreline. Good numbers of brown and rainbow trout were taken by all methods of fishing. Fish up to 3kg were also seen here.
River Derwent – The New Norfolk Licensed Anglers Club held its opening weekend fishing competition on the Derwent system over the weekend. 84 fish were weighed in with fish up to 5.6kg. The lower Derwent always fishes well early in the season and with dryer than normal conditions this year whitebait will be around early and this should provide good fishing in the section from Bridgewater to New Norfolk!
Mersey River – The rain on the North West coast over the weekend saw the Mersey River rise significantly throughout the weekend. Such conditions are perfect for bait fishing, with some good fish caught throughout the Kimberley/Merseylea stretch of the river. One angler fishing at Merseylea on opening day had caught 8 trout to 3.5lb before lunchtime. The key is to find backwaters and flooded margins that have relatively still water. Trout will come to these areas to seek out food such as worms etc. drowned by rising water levels that are washed downstream. There were also some good brown trout caught in the Latrobe area by anglers using soft plastics.
Woods Lake - Good numbers of fish were taken from Woods Lake on the opening day of the season. One IFS compliance team conducted a boat patrol on this water on the Saturday and checked 67 anglers for a total of 144 fish. Trolling was the most successful method however there were also some fish taken by bait fishermen. This water has been a stand out for many years now.
Pet Dam – There were large numbers of rainbow trout along with some brown trout caught at this water over the weekend. Bait and lure anglers were extremely successful. The majority of the rainbow trout caught were from stocking conducted late last fishing season. This group of fish is now just reaching the minimum size of 300mm and is providing good sport to anglers. We would like to encourage anglers at this water to only take what they need. These fish will grow exceptionally well throughout the spring and will likely be around 1kg by Christmas. If anglers fish responsibly now, the fishing quality later in season will thank you!
Four Springs Lake – The fishing here was fantastic. On Saturday morning, some anglers had caught their bag limit before 9am! Brown and rainbow trout up to 3kg in weight were caught, with a variety of angling methods proving successful.
Penstock Lagoon – Good numbers of both brown and rainbow trout were taken by anglers fishing wet flies at Penstock. The average catch rate for anglers checked at this water was over 5 fish for the day. It was pleasing to see so many anglers practising responsible fishing with the majority of caught fish returned to the water to grow and fight another day. Anglers reported that the fish were in good condition and fought well.
Junior Fishing Dams – Frombergs dam at Ulverstone and Taylors Dam at Latrobe held their junior fish-out days over the weekend. Some nice fish were caught. The annual presentations for last season were held at Taylors Dam with many prizes awarded for various categories.. We would also like to acknowledge the contributions of Peter and Wendy Maloney. Peter was presented with life membership to the Devonport Angling Club for his service to junior angling. Well done Peter.
South Riana Dam – Lure and soft plastic fishermen caught good fish up to 2.8kg.
Fisheries Officers detected the following offences over the weekend:
• 1 x Take fish by means other than artificial fly
• 4 x Fail to wear PFD
• 4 x Fishing with unattended set rod
• 2 x Fishing without angling licence
• 2 x Fishing in closed water
• 2 x Possess assembled rod/line at a closed water
• 2 x MAST boat equipment offences
• 2 x Use more rods than endorsed on license
• 1 x Use bottle strike indicator
The 2017-2018 fishing season is finally here! With so many of our waters firing why not get out and amongst it? Take a friend, your kids, grandkids trout fishing and pass on the tradition and create lifetime memories. Buy your licence early to make the most of it and don’t let another season pass you by!